About Sake and Shochu cups (Beauty and types of drinking vessel) The true flavor of sake is best enjoyed when it is poured into every sake cup from a flask designed for storing it such as barrel, cask, pot and bottle. You can’t enjoy the true flavor of sake when you drink it straight from the bottle. Sake tastes best when you drink it from your own sake cup. In tasting sake, selecting a cup is prone to be ignored. An umber drinking glass or kiki-choko, a small sake cup, is usually used for sake tasting. While these cups are convenient for comparing aroma or flavor between different kinds of […]
Polishing Methods There are two types of polishing methods: “acid polishing,” which uses chemicals (a mixture of acids) and traditional “hand polishing,” which uses wooden boards and polishing powder. Satsuma kiriko artisans in Osaka use only hand polishing. Acid polishing dissolves the surface of the glass but doesn’t bring out high quality of its texture and brightness. Hand polishing makes the glass naturally bright and brilliant without damaging the sharp edges of subtle cutwork.
Cutting One of the features of Satsuma kiriko is delicately cut patterns, such as latticework and designs made up of small dots, on the surface of the glass. These patterns are made with the use of a wheel. Artisans must have a high level of skill because the glass is cut from beneath and the thickness of overlaid colored layer makes it difficult to see the grinder. Nanako mon-you (small dots pattern) Kikka mon-you (chrysanthemum pattern) Hakkaku-kagome mon-you (octagonal pattern: literally patterns of bamboo woven baskets) Rokkaku kagome mon-you (hexagonal pattern: literally patterns of bamboo woven baskets) Sayagata mon-you (traditional interlocking swastikas pattern Sasanoha mon-you (bamboo leaves pattern) Kenni […]
The Characteristics and Techniques of Satsuma Kiriko. While Edo kiriko is usually colorless and transparent cut glass, Satsuma kiriko is primarily overlaid colored glass (irokise). A thick colored layer is blown into a mold and a thin layer of clear glass is blown inside the colored layer. Subtle color graduations are produced by cutting bold designs into the colored layer. This color gradation, called bokashi in Japanese, is the defining characteristic of Satsuma kiriko. The deep and delicate colors of Satsuma kiriko, such as crimson, bronze-red, indigo, green, purple, yellow, and sapphire blue, create an oriental atmosphere, and the color gradations produce the effect of quiet simplicity called wabi and […]
Satsum Kiriko Reproduction in Osaka Beginning in 1975, Yuri Seisuke from the Kamei Glass Company, Ltd., a glass tableware wholesaler in Osaka, collaborated with researchers and kiriko artisans from various regions in Japan in an effort to reproduce Satsuma kiriko. By 1980, they had succeeded. After Kamei Glass Company, Ltd. closed its business in the mid-1990s, the glass artisans and wholesalers who had been involved in the reproduction of Satsuma kiriko took its techniques and established Satsuma kiriko as craftwork in Osaka. Satsuma kiriko was also reproduced in Satsuma (Kagoshima prefecture) in 1989, and was designated as a prefectural traditional craft by Kagoshima prefecture. Today, authentic reproductions of existing example […]
Kiriko is the Japanese name for cut glass that has incised ornamentation on its surface. The Shimazu clan (Kagoshima prefecture) began manufacturing Satsuma kiriko in 1846 when Shimazu Narioki (1791-1859), the tenth lord of the Shimazu clan, recruited glass artisans from Edo (Tokyo). Books from Nagasaki that described foreign glass manufacturing techniques were also consulted. Shimazu Nariakira(1809-1858), the eleventh lord of Shimazu clan, also promoted the craft and succeeded in coloring of crimson, indigo, purple, green, and yellow. The beautiful Satsuma kiriko, also called Satsuma garasu or Satsuma biidoro, was a very advanced product for the time. Many noble people loved the glass and sent it as gifts to feudal […]